I have two of the most sophisticated pieces of technology in the world today – an iPad and an iPhone. I am, admittedly, the guy who once said that I’d never own anything that Apple made… until I got my first (and only) iPod and given what it could do, yeah, I got my mind changed to a point.
iTunes is still the worst program I’ve ever had to work with although I understand the necessity for it but this isn’t what I’m riffing about. Here, hold my beer…
I subscribe to Apple Music, first out of curiosity – is it really as good or bad as I’ve been hearing? – then because $9.99 isn’t that bad of a price to get music I’m not gonna mind listening to and music that can go along with all the music I possess on my computer and, um, a shitload of CDs and some with music not available on Apple Music.
Streaming music is the thing now; why clog up your device of choice with stuff when you can stream whatever you wanna hear from the cloud? Oh, that’s right – some of the music I wanna hear ain’t in the cloud and may never be. But, okay: When I signed up for Apple Music, it took a week’s worth of music – that’s listening to it for a week and not hear the same song twice – and shuffled it into the cloud and freeing up gigabytes of precious space on my devices… but I’m stuck with Apple’s crappy player/interface and I still gotta sync both to insure peak performance and all that.
I had a couple of really good player apps that let me listen to my music in the way I wanted to; I could customize the sound I hear and based on earbud/headphone “protocols,” EQ setting based and optimized for a boatload of listening tools and they looked great, sounded even better and I was happy.
Until Apple made sure that those apps couldn’t access Apple Music or any music I may have bought from them prior to Apple Music. I’d be listening to a playlist that included and one such piece of music and, what the fuck? I know it’s in the playlist – why didn’t it play? Then I found out why and, believe it or not, I wasn’t pissed about it – all I gotta do is to find a player that Apple has allowed to access, in this case, Apple Music.
And I found one and only one appropriately named “Listen.” And it sucks. The interface is gesture based, can’t see any of my playlists and, wow, has a radio function that I don’t fucking want or need. I’ve looked at a shitload of apps in the App Store and they’re most,y for streaming music and, often, not the music I’d be remotely interested in, oh, like offering “stations” like hip-hop and country, both of which I have no desire to listen to. Or it an app can access my music that now resides in Apple’s cloud, I can’t do much about the way it sounds in my ears, let alone my built-in speakers.
And most won’t or can’t access certain audiobooks that, before this stuff came into being, I could do easily enough. Some offer podcasting… like I care about that; I’m offered lists of music or stations of music that I’d have to listen to god knows how ,any songs before I might hear something I might like but because the way the “music player” is built um, nope – can’t listen to my own music unless I do the unthinkable and physically put back gigabytes of music from my thousands of CDs – and then hope the “music player” can access the music I’ve actually paid for.
The default player for Apple, such as it is, isn’t that horrible but I am wondering how a song from a jazz “album” can be classified as R&B. Oh, I can change that… but that means going into iTunes and no matter what they e done to “improve” it, iTunes still sucks donkey dick and there’s no guarantee that changes I make to my music library is going to stay changed to my preferences… and if I even see them at all.
Why not go Android? Because they don’t make a device that can handle the amount of music I’d want to put on it, that’s why. SD card, you say? Well, hmm, Android devices are funny about what can go on an SD card and I know because I also have an Android tablet. I could get Apple Music on Android… but that’s an unnecessary duplication since, uh, I have two devices that’s already sharing all of that music to begin with and, oh, yeah, my Samsung table, as nice as it is, loves running out of both space and memory, likes to crash, have stuff just stop working for unknown and inexplicable reasons.
Use Spotify or some other service? I could do that but I have Spotify; I had it look for some songs I either already owned or obtained via Apple Music and, nope, on,ya found one of them… but it does have plenty of music I’m not interested in listening to.
I just want to listen to the music I want to listen to and the way I wanna hear it. My JetAudio app used to do that and, oh, yeah, now it can’t because all of my music is in Apple’s cloud so I can open the app… and it sees nothing. Well, let me be precise and not overly exaggerate things: It sees and plays the music that was physically on the device but is now in the cloud – still won’t play anything I bought or downloaded via Apple Music. I know that’s because that music doesn’t have Apple’s DRM protocols attached but, damn it, I want a comprehensive player that will play all of my music no matter where or who I got it from and one I can set up the way I want to listen to my music and without “bells and whistles” like “radio stations” I have no interest in.
It’s not so much the service i have issue with – I’ve come to like Apple Music but, yeah, hate the stock player because I can’t customize the sounds I hear to my liking.
Okay, yeah – I’m not only funny about the music I listen to, I’m funny about how i actually hear it. The built-in EQ for Apple’s player ain’t bad but cannot be tweaked or fine-tuned. I’m a life-long musician and when I listen to a song, I want to be able to hear every instrument and some default EQ setting, bleh, cut out the midrange stuff, too much treble, not enough bass – you get the picture.
Apple has revamped iOS in some very good ways – except this one. The player is… merely adequate and this ain’t good enough for me… and the many apps available leave much to be desired. Apple touts the iPhone as being great for taking pictures and videos and streaming content… but not listening to it, that and I didn’t get it to take pictures with anyway. The new iPads are supposed to replace laptops… but the music program on my laptop and desktop can be made to sound the way I want it to – and both my iPhone and iPad both costs more than my computer does.
Go figure. I know I’m just riffing… because I felt like riffing.